The Screaming Staircase Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1) The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
25,072 ratings, 4.20 average rating, 3,785 reviews
The Screaming Staircase Quotes (showing 1-27 of 27)
“Really?"
"No. I'm being ironic. Or is it sarcastic? I can never remember."
"Irony's cleverer, so you're probably being sarcastic.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
tags: wit
“When you go out hunting wicked spirits, it's the simple things that matter most. The silvered point of your rapier flashing in the dark; the iron filings scattered on the floor; the sealed canisters of best Greek Fire, ready as a last resort...

But tea bags, brown and fresh and plenty of them, and made (for preference) by Pitkin Brothers of Bond Street, are perhaps the simplest and best of all.

OK, they may not save your life like a sword-tip or an iron circle can, and they haven't the protective power of a sudden wall of fire. But they do provide something just as vital. They help keep you sane.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Okay...' I hurried on. 'But why me?'
'You're a girl,' Lockwood called. 'Aren't you supposed to be more sensitive?'
'To emotions, yes. To nuances of human behavior. Not necessarily to secret passages in a wall.'
'Oh, it's much the same thing.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“I wasn't pretty, but as my mother once said, prettiness wasn't my profession.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“It was one of those moments when a great Don't Care wave hits you, and you float off on it, head back, looking at the sky.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Lockwood sat up awkwardly, adjusting his Bubble-Wrapped loops of chain. 'We're in good shape,' he said. 'We've lost the heavy duty chains and the stuff in the bags, but we've got our rapiers, iron, and silver seals. And we've found what we wanted now.'
I stared at the clean, calm surface of the door. 'Why couldn't it come after us? Ghosts can pass through walls.'
Lockwood shrugged. 'In some cases a Visitor is tied so completely to the room where it met its death that it no longer has any conception of there being any adjacent space at all. So...when we left its hunting ground, it was as if we ceased to exist, as if we ceased to be....'
I looked at him. 'You haven't really got a clue, have you?'
'No.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“There was a profound silence, abruptly broken by an enormously loud rumble from George's stomach. Plaster didn't actually fall from the ceiling, but it was close.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to say little, in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“God rest her soul and may she never walk at night”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“It's a curious thing with George. With his glasses off, his eyes looked small and weak - blinky and a bit baffled, like an unintelligent sheep that's taken a wrong turn. But when he put them on again, they went all sharp and steely, more like the eyes of an eagle that eats dumb sheep for breakfast.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“George,' I croaked, 'are you okay?'
'No. Someone's buttocks are flattening my foot.'
I shifted my position irritably.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Well, when you're being held at gunpoint by a geriatric madman in a metal skirt, you've kind of hit rock bottom anyway. It can't really get much worse.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Lockwood stepped aside, his boots crunching across the salt, to stand and study the paper beneath the light. No such luck with George; he came in close, his eyes bulging so much behind his spectacles, they almost pressed against the glass.
'I can't *believe* you did that, Lucy. You're crazy! *Purposefully* freeing a ghost!'
'It was an experiment,' I said. 'Why are you complaining? You're always messing about with that stupid jar of yours.'
'There's no comparison. I keep that ghost *in* in the jar. Anyway, it's scientific research. I do it under carefully controlled conditions.'
'Carefully controlled? I found it in the bathtub the other day!'
'That's right. I was testing the ghost's reaction to heat.'
'And to bubble bath? There were bubbles all over the jar. You put some nice soapy fragrance in that water, and...' I stared at him. 'Do you get in the tub with it, George?'
His face flushed. 'No, I do not. Not as a rule. I - I was saving time. I was just getting in myself when it occurred to me I could do a useful experiment about the resistance of ectoplasm to warmth. I wanted to see if it would contract...' He waved his hands wildly in the air. 'Wait! Why am I explaining myself to *you*? You just unleashed a ghost in our house!”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“But certainly the two best-known tales in the neighborhood - the key hauntings, if you will - concern the Red Room and the Screaming Staircase.'
There was a profound silence, abruptly broken by an enormously loud rumble from George's stomach. Plaster didn't actually fall from the ceiling, but it was close.
'Sorry,' he said cheerfully. 'Famished. I think I"ll have another doughnut, if you don't mind. Any takers?”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“He looked like a kid caught making an angel in the snow, except his glasses had been blown off and one of his hands was bleeding. He breathed heavily; his belly rose and fell.
I knelt close. 'George?'
A groan, a cough. 'It's too late. Leave me....Let me sleep....'
I shook him firmly, slapped the side of his face. 'George, you've got to wake up! George, *please.* Are you okay?'
An eye opened. 'Ow. That cheek was the one part of me that *wasn't* sore.'
'Here, look - your glasses.' I scooped them out of the ash, put them on his chest.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“She was so radiant, it was like the other-light was already on her.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“There - the chandelier, choked with dust and webs. A single rivulet of red had trickled from the ceiling, down the central column, and out along a curving crystal arm. At its lowest point, a new pendant of blood was slowly building.
'It - it can't do that,' I stammered. 'We're inside the iron.'
'Move out of the way!' Lockwood pushed me back just as the drop fell, spattering on the floor in the center of the circle. We were all standing almost atop the iron chains. 'We've made it too big,' he said. 'The power of the iron doesn't extend into the very center. It's weak there, and this Visitor's strong enough to overcome it.'
'Adjust the chains inward-' George began.
'If we make the circle smaller,' Lockwood said, 'we'll be squeezed in a tiny space. It's scarcely midnight; we've seven hours till dawn and this thing's just gotten started. No, we've got to break out”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“I turned and held the blade above us all as an ineffective shield.
The bloodstain on the ceiling now spread almost wall to wall; in our corner, a single triangle of clean space remained. Elsewhere torrents of blood fell in curtains, roaring, driving, gusting like rain waves in a thunderstorm. The floor was awash. It pooled between the floorboards and lashed up against the wainscoting. The chandelier dripped with it: the crystals shone red. Now I knew why the chamber was without furniture of any kind, why it had been deserted for so many years. Now I knew why it had the name it did.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Dark Specter** - A frightening variety of Type Two ghost that manifests as a moving patch of darkness. Sometimes the apparition at the center of the darkness is dimly visible; at other times the black cloud is fluid and formless, perhaps shrinking to the size of a pulsing heart, or expanding at speed to engulf a room.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Water, running - It was observed in ancient times that ghosts dislike crossing running water. In modern Britain this knowledge is sometimes used against them. In central London a net of artificial channels, or runnels, protects the main shopping district. On a smaller scale, some house-owners build open channels outside their front doors and divert the rainwater along them.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“I found my flashlight where I'd dropped it on the bricks, but the bulb had broken. Lockwood's was gone, and George's seemed dimmer than before.
'Save it,' Lockwood said. He brought out candles and distributed them between us; when lit, their flames were mustard-yellow, tall, and strong. 'They'll be a good indicator of psychic build-up, too,' he said. 'Keep your eye on them.'
'Shame we can't use caged cats, like Tom Rotwell did,' George remarked. 'They're the most sensitive indicator of all, apparently - *if* you can stand the yowling.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Their first stop, naturally, was the library, and here, by whirling flashlight beam, Fairfax’s body was located. He lay facedown on the rug in the center of the room, with his eyes wide open and his arms outstretched as if in supplication. The medics had the adrenaline needles ready, but they didn’t try to use them. It was already much too late. Fairfax had suffered first-degree ghost-touch, and it had left him swollen, blue, and dead. Immediate readings were carried out in the vicinity of the locket and all around the room, but everything came up negative. The spirit of Annie Ward—having been reunited with her killer—was nowhere to be found.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“The caretaker was certainly very ancient, a tight and desiccated thing from which all softness and moisture had long since been extracted.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“This is an interview, not a boxing match.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“It's a commonly known fact that while cats can't stand ghosts, spiders love them.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“Take his appearance. There was something about it that acted as a trigger to one's worst instincts. His face was uniquely slappable - a nun would have ached to punch him - while his backside cried out to heaven for a well-placed kick.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase
“What a great article," Lockwood said, for the twentieth time that day. "Couldn't have been better."
"They spelled my name wrong," I pointed out.
"They didn't mention me at all," George said.
"Well, in all the essentials, I mean." Lockwood grinned round at us.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase